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World War II:
Jewish Pilots and Aircrews in the Battle of Britain

by Martin Sugarman


World War II: Table of Contents | Jewish American Soldiers | D-Day


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Introduction

No attempt has ever been made to describe the part played by Jewish aircrew in the Battle of Britain during that distant, hot summer of 1940. The genteel anti-Semitism of the British “establishment” – and that of other western societies – has always been subtley keen, at best, to play down, and at worst to ignore completely, any Jewish contribution. At the same time this lends understated credibility to the comments of the likes of author Roald Dahl, who alleged he “never saw a Jew in the front line”.

It seems to me that this all therefore bestows a great responsibility on Jewish historians to dispel these racist myths and prove beyond any doubt, through careful sourced research, that Jews in Britain and other nations, have always participated in the defence of the countries wherever they have lived, and always out of proportion to their numbers in the general population.

The Allied victory in The Battle of Britain was a major turning point in World War Two. The RAF, assisted by allied squadrons from other nations, defeated the might of a numerically far superior German Luftwaffe in an air battle that lasted (as officially defined) from July 10th to October 31st 1940. As a result, Hitler indefinitely postponed his planned invasion of Britain because he and his High Command understood that without control of the air, German losses in a seaborne and air invasion would have meant unacceptably high casualties and probable failure. This decision changed the course of the war as Churchills’s “Few” held back the tide so that Britain and its allies could fight another day, and ultimately win the struggle.

Participation in the Battle of Britain by 2917 Allied men of 71 squadrons or units, is defined as being awarded the Battle of Britain clasp ( worn on the 1939-45 Star – or a silver gilt rosette if medal ribbons only are worn) for having flown operationally at least one authorised sortie with an eligible unit of RAF Fighter Command, Coastal Command or The Fleet Air Arm, as a pilot or aircrew, between July 10th and October 31st 1940. Of the Allied participants (see table 1 for the breakdown by nation), 544 were killed and a further 794 were killed before the war’s end [1].

Table 1: Breakdown by Nation
Great Britain 2333 Czechoslovakia 88 France 13 Israel 1
Poland 145 Australia 33 USA 11 Jamaica 1
New Zealand 126 Belgium 29 Ireland 10 Newfoundland 1
Canada 98 South Africa 25 Rhodesia 3  

Using Wynn’s data, the participation of 34 definite Jewish airmen among “The Few” is undoubtedly a large proportion ( 1.2% overall AND 1.1 % of the British contingent ) compared to our numbers in the general population of Britain, which was, more or less as now, under 0.5%. This is all the more amazing, because it is well known that most of the pilots of the RAF at the time were pre war regular, commissioned officers, or NCO’s who had been aircraft apprentices, tradesmen or non-pilot aircrew. As Jews have traditionally rarely served in peace-time regular military units to follow military careers, there was and is, therefore, an already in - built numerical bias against Jewish numbers participating, before one even attempts any analysis of any figures [2].

Flying also were men of the Auxiliary Air Force (AAF), the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) and University Air Squadrons – mobilised shortly before the outbreak of war - most of whom were spare time “weekend” fliers. Again, few Jews in a predominantly working class Jewish community at that time, would have had the financial resources to spend time learning to fly and undertaking the expensive associated outlay, and in addition, far fewer Jews were then at University or the Public or Grammar schools - unlike today - to take advantage of the opportunities to fly even if they could find the financial resources! A generally lower level of formal education in the sciences and mathematics in the Jewish male population of enlistment age – owing to the social conditions of the Jewish community in Britain at the time – was also an obstacle at interviews for the RAF and RAFVR pilot training, which then as now was more technologically demanding than that required for entry into the more ordinary trades of the Army and Navy.

After the Battle of Britain, when conscription for all the armed forces really got under way, thousands of Jews volunteered for the RAF of course, and even those with only very basic schooling could get onto flying courses – if fit – so long as they showed what was then called an aptitude for learning. But in 1940, the core of the RAF/RAFVR pilot elite were basically highly educated middle and upper middle class non-Jews – rather like an exclusive club where everybody knew everybody else - among whose ranks Jews were disproportionately poorly represented. The same can be said of Jewish representation among the Australian, New Zealand, South African and Canadian contingents.

Concerning the large ( 5%) Polish contribution to the allied pilots of the Battle, there are other more sinister issues surrounding the lower Jewish participation . Blatant anti-Semitism can be added to the class and education barriers explained above, and made it particularly difficult for Jews to get into the Polish Air Force, or indeed obtain a commission in any of the Polish Forces at that time. There were of course Jewish officers as well as thousands of Polish Jewish other ranks in all the Polish Forces in 1939, but promotion and entry to the more glamorous positions such as flying was excessively difficult for Polish Jews. Added to this, we must be clear that many Polish Jews hid their religious affiliation on enlistment and changed their names aswell (both because of Polish anti - Semitism – and German, if they were captured!) so that even searching through records of religious denomination gives no real picture of which Polish pilots were Jewish ; in effect we will never know.

The same may be said of the French (0.03% of the Allied pilots), Czech (3%) and Belgian (0.1%) Air Forces. But these matters are difficult to prove, although based on the well known general discrimination that existed against Jews in most, if not all, European countries, at all levels, at that time and especially in the armed forces.

Benjamin Meirtchak’s seminal work on Polish Jewish casualties [3] is an amazing contribution to our generally known high level of Jewish participation in the Polish forces – but it is also just that – casualties only - and so missing are all the Jewish Polish pilots who had survived the Battle!

Given all these factors it is even more remarkable that so many Jewish airmen have been identified by this research as being in the front line of pilots and aircrew in The Battle of Britain.

However, the author’s research at the Imperial War Museum Library in Lambeth uncovered another and official study – “The Battle of Britain Roll of Honour” published by the Air Ministry in 1947, of those killed during the Battle or died of wounds later. Here were found more Jewish names not published in Wynn’s book – either because the Ministry used a different definition of the time scale of the battle, or a different definition of the term “operational flight” or both - and includes a large number of Bomber Command and Coastal Command crew killed in action but not included by Wynn in his study . There is by no means universal agreement among historians about either the dates of the Battle or the squadrons that took part! Again, this Air Ministry list contains only those killed and so excludes many more who took part, but survived. If these Air Ministry names are included then the percentage participation of Jewish pilots and aircrew is greater still. I discovered 10 Jewish men (plus one – Bardega - not in either source) out of an approximate 1000 names NOT included by Wynn – ie a 1% participation – which, as the figures above show , is a higher than proportionate representation from the British Jewish community by over two times at least .The names of these men I have indicated in the text as “Air Ministry Roll”. Clearly the 46 Jewish Aircrew is still 1.2% of the new 3917 participants – again over twice Jewish numbers in the general population .

But the problem is further compounded by yet further lists in the two books, “Battle over Britain” (F Mason, Alban Books, London, 1969) - which states the period of the Battle as having started on July 1st - and a further study “Battle of Britain – The Forgotten Months, November to December 1940” (J Foreman, Air Research Publications, London, 1988); he includes even more men, declaring that the dates fixed by the RAF are incorrect and are relevant only to those entitled to wear the Battle of Britain clasp. He argues, convincingly, that the scale of the fighting on some days in December and November 1940 exceeded some of the worst days of the summer period.

Sources

The main details came from scanning the almost 3000 biographical entries in the 595 pages of Wynn’s mammoth and ground breaking research in his book (note 1). These were all cross-checked for the British personnel (2333) against the Jewish Chaplains’ cards held at the AJEX (Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women) Military Museum in Hackney, London, to reveal the British Jewish Airmen who took part.

Having extracted and typed alphabetically all the non British men (full name and number) by nationality (583 entries) I sent these to RAF Innsworth [4] where the staff there untiringly – in three major sessions – looked up the religious denomination of each man . It is somewhat disturbing, however, that Innsworth’s records showed Nelson (RCAF), van Mentz (SAAF) and Mamedoff (USA) as Church of England when my searches found conclusively that they were Jews (see below). Also the Polish Jewish pilot Klein) is shown as Catholic at Innsworth’s records!

The AJEX Jewish Chaplains’ cards added further fine detail about the men, as did information from Commonwealth War Graves Commission registers, so brilliantly available on their web site. The Jewish Chronicle newspapers for the period 1940-46 were also closely scanned and revealed further pilots names and personal details – as the AJEX cards are not a complete record of all the Jewish military personnel.

Information on three of the Czech Jewish fliers came from a web site math.fce.vutbr.cz/safarik/ACES1/ww2-commonwealth-jewish.html.

Henry Morris’s books [5] contain the names of those killed which were extracted from the Jewish Chaplains cards, but also include those names submitted during his survey, by surviving relatives of those who were killed but who did not necessarily have Chaplains cards made out for them, for a variety of reasons. Thus names have been found in Morris’s books but who did NOT have cards – and thus Morris’s books are often a separate source of names of Jewish personnel killed.

The Jewish RAF participants in the Battle of Britain [6]

116515 Cyril Stanley “Bam” Bamberger [7]

was a Sergeant Pilot of Jewish origin (telephone conversation with author), later Squadron Leader, of 610 and 41 Squadrons. Born in Port Sunlight on 4/5/19, he joined the RAFVR in 1938 . He shot down two Me109’s in his Spitfire (at Hawarden and Hornchurch). Later (in 1941) he volunteered for Malta and shot down two Ju 87’s. He was commissioned in 1942 and then volunteered for North Africa and shot down another Ju 87 (Sicily) and damaged another ( Italy - 1943) and was awarded the DFC on 28/9/43. In Italy he shot down another 109 and damaged another. On 3/7/45 he was awarded a Bar to his DFC at Buckingham Palace from the King. He served in RAF Intelligence during the Korean War. His AJEX Jewish Chaplain card mentions an article on him in “The Jewish Chronicle” (noted as JC henceforth) of 24/9/43. Cyril featured on a Channel 4 TV programme in Jan 2004, “Spitfire Ace” and in 2002 on a another Channel 4 Programme on the Spitfire as weapon of WW2.

58063/46170 Pilot Officer, later Sqdn. Leader, Ben Bardega

of 20 Cheyne Walk, NW4 (AJEX Card) joined the RAF in February 1939, No 50 Squadron, DFM 14th Sept. 1940 (“The Times”), died 25th May 1958, buried Golders Green. He is not included in Wynn’s book.

581137 Sgt. Alfred James Baum (Air Ministry Roll)

was a Sergeant Observer in 49 Squadron. He was killed in action on 11th August 1940 and is buried at Reichswald, grave 30-B-7. No more is known about him but he is not mentioned in Morris and an AJEX card has not been found. However, his name is inscribed on a memorial to Jewish personnel killed in WW2 from the North East of England.

751790 Louis Lionel Benjamin

was a Sergeant Observer in 53 Squadron Coastal Command RAFVR (Air Ministry Roll) and his AJEX card says he volunteered on June 6th 1939 and was stationed at Hamble, Hants. His wife was Elizabeth Betty and lived at 170 Cotsbach Rd., Clapton, London E5, formerly at 4, Cavendish Mansions, Mill Lane, NW6. He is named in Morris and was officially reported missing killed in action, aged 22 years, son of Hyam and Bessie, on 31/8/40 by the RAF and in the Jewish Chronicle on 28/3/41. The JC also published a letter on 30/9/49 from Arthur Levy about there being a cross on his grave (plot LL – 2 -5) and that this was being referred to the War Graves Commission at Crosswijk, Rotterdam, by the Jewish Chaplains.

44271 David Henry Davis (AFM, MiD Feb. 1938, North West Frontier, India ) (Air Ministry Roll)

was Pilot Officer/Observer with 59 Squadron Coastal Command and was killed in action on 1/8/40 aged 27 years. He was son of Albert Edward and Harriette Bertha of Thorn House, Smarden in Kent and he is buried at St. Valery - en – Caux, grave A-B. His name appears in Morris and his Jewish Chaplain card states his death was notified to the JC on 5/2/41 and was published on the 14/2/41. David was a regular and had joined the RAF as LAC 562061 in 1928 and served at RAF Kohart, NW Frontier, India during the 1930’s. Mrs A E Davis (mother?) lived at 19, Haven Green, Ealing, W5 and previously at 46, West End Lane, NW6. His card shows he attended many functions for Jewish personnel between 1928-39 both at home and abroad. By 1940 he was with 59 Squadron flying missions with the BEF in France and had attended No.1 Observer School, Northcoates, near Grimsby.

123055/759128 Frank Samuel Day

was a Sgt. Observer in 248 Squadron and came from Chesham, Bucks. He fought throughout the campaign, was commissioned in May 1942 but was killed in action on July 24th 1942 with 86 Squadron, aged 28 years. He was son of Nathaniel and Rika and is buried at St Illogan churchyard, Cornwall, Row 1, grave 20. He had been one of plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe’s “guinea pigs”. His name is in Morris but there is no AJEX card for him.

79166 John Lionel De Keyser (Air Ministry Roll)

was a Pilot Officer with 206 Squadron RAFVR, Coastal Command. His AJEX card says he was a former member of Stepney Jewish Boys club and his name occurs in Morris. He was killed in action 15/10/40 age 25 years and is inscribed on the Runnymede memorial on panel 8. He was the son of William and Asneth of Johannesburg, South Africa. His death was announced in “The Stepnian” club journal in August 1941 and in the JC of 13/2/40.

81887 P. Off. Emil Fechtner Czech 310 Sqdn. [8]

born 16/9/1916 – escaped Czech Air Force on March 15th 1939, joined the Foreign Legion in France. Sept. 1939 he was seconded to French l’Armee de l’Air and later escaped to England after France fell. He was posted to Duxford to form the Czech 310 Sqdn. July 12th 1940. Crashed in accident Aug 1st and on 15th landed after a collision at Upwood. On Aug 26th he shot down a 110 and on 31st a Do. 215 in Hurricane V3889, which was damaged . On Sept 3rd he shot down a 110 and the on 18th a Do 215. Awarded DFC Oct. 1940. but sadly was killed in a crash landing at Duxford on Oct 29th 1940, after a collision with P. Off. J M Maly. Buried at Brookwood. Information on Jewish background from web site math.fce.vutbr.cz/safarik/ACES1/ww2-commonwealth-jewish.html

42598 George Ernest Goodman

was Pilot Officer, later Flying Officer in No. 1 Squadron. His story is exceptional as he was born in Haifa, Israel on August 10, 1920 and is the son of Bida Goodman nee Lerner, from Zichron Yaacov, Israel. Wynn says Goodman was British solely because he had a British passport – like most born under the Mandate - but he was in fact an Israeli “sabra” and the only Israeli in the Battle of Britain. RAF Museum researcher John Edwards testifies to these facts in an article in “London Jewish News” , 22/9/2000, by reporter John Kaye [9]. Furthermore in Mason’s book [10] on page 506, Goodman is described as “Palestinian”, in another [11] as “Israeli”, and yet another [12] also as Israeli. The author also has in his possession an official copy of Goodman’s birth certificate, all in Hebrew, from the Haifa municipality in Israel, now kept at the AJEX Musuem [13].

Educated at Highgate school he was son of Sydney and Bida Goodman, was in the OTC and took a commission in the RAF in early 1939, joining his Hurricane Squadron in France in March 1940, where he shared a kill of an HE 111 and shot down another later which had helped sink the SS Lancastria off St Nazaire. Later, flying from Northolt he shot down an Me109, shared in another, then shot down an He 111 and then shared a Do 17 and then shot down another 110. On August 18th he was hit in his Hurricane P3757 but managed to land safely [14] .On September 6th 1940 he shot down another 110 but was himself shot down , baling out with an injury. His plane crashed at Brownings Farm, Chiddingstone Causeway. He later shared a Ju 88, damaged a Do 17 and was awarded the DFC on 26/11/40.

In Nov. 1940 he flew the ferry route for the Middle East with 73 Squadron and stopped at Lagos where his parents were working in the diplomatic service. He saw his mother for the last time (his father was away) and as the Squadron later flew out, they did a roll over the Goodman home and then were away.

In February 1941 he shot down a CR42 in the Western Desert, and a 110 at Tobruk, but he was shot down but crash landed behind the British lines. He then shared an Hs 126, destroyed a Ju 87 and shared another, all over Tobruk. In April he took leave in Haifa, Israel, with his two sisters, but on June 14th 1941 he was shot down and killed by flak over Gazala. He is buried in Knightsbridge cemetery, Acroma, Libya, grave 10.C.21 [15].

135476 Maurice Venning Goodman

was a Sgt. Air Gunner with 604 Squadron, later Flt. Lt., and born in Hendon on 13/4/20. Educated at King’s School Colindale, he joined the AAF and was called up at outbreak of war. He served on air operations throughout the Battle of Britain and then in 1942 on special operations over Germany, severely damaging a 110. He then served on special operations in North Africa and Italy and was awarded the DFC on 12.11.43. He died in 1988. His Jewish Chaplain card mentions an article on him in “The Jewish Chronicle” on 12/11/43.

81945 P. Off. Vilem Goth Czech 310 and 501 Sqdns. [16]

born 22/4/1915 and joined 310 Sqdn. at Duxford 10/7/1940. On Sept 7th he shot down two 110’s over Southend but his Hurricane V6643 was damaged, forcing him to land at Whitmans Farm, Purleigh. Joined 501 Sqdn. at Kenley in Oct 1940 and sadly was killed Oct 25th when he collided with P. O. K W Mackenzie during combat over Tenterden, crashing in Hurricane 2903 in Bridgehurst Wood, Marden. He is buried at Sittingbourne and Milton Cemetery, Kent. Information on Jewish background from same web site as Fechtner (above)

78684 Eric Stewart Issacson Hallows (Air Ministry Roll)

was a pilot Officer in 99 Squadron Bomber Command. His AJEX card says he was first with 79 Squadron and had been stationed at Harwell, Didcot and Mildenhall. He was husband of Mrs M Hallows, of Russley, Wood Ditton Rd., Newmarket. He was killed in action on 30/10/40 and buried at Willesden Jewish cemetery in London in grave FX-13-554. His AJEX card states that the JC was notified on 1/11/40, published notification of his death on 8/11/40 and that he was buried on 4/11/40, the funeral being officiated by Rev. Gollomb, HCF. He is named in Morris’s book.

37970 Eustace “Gus” Holden

was a Flt. Lt./Pilot, later Wing Commander with 501 Squadron. Born in Doncaster on 28/12/12, he was commissioned in the RAF in 1936. In May 1940 in France he shot down a Ju 88, Do 7 and an He 111. Later from Croydon he damaged a Do 17 but was himself wounded later on July 22nd. He was awarded the DFC on 16/8/40. In Sept./Oct he shot down two 109’s, a 110, 2 more 109’s, damaged a Ju 88 and damaged two more 109’s. As C/O of 501 Squadron, he took them to West Africa in June 1941 and then became a Staff Officer (Fighter Training) at the Air Ministry. In 1944 he was posted to HQ Far East, Kandy, staying in the RAF until 1964. His Jewish Chaplain card mentions his being based at Tokoradi, and seeing Senior Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Brodie [17].

90705 Kenneth Holden

(older brother of Eustace) was a Flying Off./Pilot, later Wing Commander with 616 Squadron and with Eustace were the only Jewish brothers who flew in the Battle. He joined the AAF in 1939 and was called up at outbreak of war. On May 28th /June 1st 1940 over Dunkirk he shot down three 109’s and in Sept. damaged two more and shot down another. In May 1941 he was made Squadron Leader and later shot down three more 109’s, damaged two more and shared another. Awarded the DFC on 15/7/41, he later moved to Staff HQ of 12 Group. Retired from the RAF in 1950, he died in 1991. No Jewish Chaplain card seems to have been written for him.

748158 Lewis Reginald Isaac

was a Sgt. Pilot with 64 Squadron , and from Llanelli, South Wales, son of James and Blodwen. He joined the RAFVR in May 1939 and fought throughout the Battle. Sadly, he failed to return from a Channel sortie in his Spitfire L1029 after a surprise attack on his airfield , on Aug. 5th 1940. He had been shot down by an ME 109 off Folkestone at 0850. He was 24 years old. He is remembered at Runnymede, Panel 15. His loss is mentioned in the Jewish Chronicle on April 25th 1941, but no Jewish chaplain card appears to exist although he is in Morris’s book (see above).

78685 Henry “Jake” Jacobs

was a Pilot Officer/Air Gunner and later Squadron Leader with 219 and 600 Squadron. He was born on 15/4/07 in Gt. Yarmouth. In Sept. 1940 he shot down a Ju 88. In 1942 he shot down two Ju88’s and damaged another. He was awarded the DFC on 9.10.42 (appearing in the JC 16.10.42). In 1943 shot down three 110’s , a Do 217, a 110 and damaged a Ju 88. He was awarded a Bar to his DFC on 5.11.43 (announced in the JC 26/11/43) and AFC on the 3.4.45. He retired from the RAF in 1958 and died in 1978. His Jewish Chaplain card states his parents were Mr and Mrs J Jacobs of The Cottage, Hingham, Norfolk and that he met several Jewish Chaplains in his post war career. His DFC citation says “for valuable service rendered as chief signals instructor of 264 Squadron, Duxford ; has destroyed two enemy aircraft – a source of inspiration to his men”. The citation for his bar says “has helped destroy six enemy aircraft; he is a model of efficiency”. [18]

1050704 Norman Jacobson

was an AC2 Radio Operator with 29 Squadron and from Grimsby. He joined the RAF in June 1940 and was in an aircraft which shot down an He 111 in August. But on Aug 25th his Blenheim was shot down near Wainfleet and the crew were all killed. Jacobson was just 18 years old - the youngest Battle of Britain casualty [19]- and although his body was recovered by a trawler (“Alfredian” ) near the Inner Dowsing, he was buried at sea on Aug. 27 and his name is engraved on the Runnymede memorial panel 27. He was the son of Alfred and Olive Jacobson.[20]

85010 Arthur Harold Evans Kahn

was a Pilot Officer, later Flt. Lt. Observer, with 248 Squadron. Born in Sutton, Surrey, he joined the RAFVR in May 1939 and fought throughout the Battle. He was killed in action on June 15th 1944 with 172 Squadron, aged 25 years, son of Joseph and Mai, husband of Helen Margaret. His name is inscribed on the Runnymede memorial panel 202 and he is in Morris’s book (see above).[21]

787527 Sgt. Pilot Oldrich Kestler Czech 111 Sqdn. [22]

Born Cizice 18/3/1920, joined 111 at Dyce 19/10/1940. Joined 605 Sqdn. and 7/4/1941 he collided in Hurrican Z318, with Spitfire P 8315 (Sgt Martinec, Czech) and both were killed. Awarded Czech Military Cross – buried Market Drayton , Shropshire. Jewish background information from same web site as Fechtner (above).

780685 Zygmunt “Joe” Klein [23]

was a Sgt. Pilot with Polish 234 and 152 Squadrons [24]. He was born on 24.8.18, born Koronowo, joined PAF in 1936, to 142 Sqdn, and flew against the Luftwaffe in Poland in 1939-40, escaping via France to Britain. He also joined the RAF in Feb. 1940. Joined 234 Sqdn. at St Eval 6/8/40 - was shot down but bailed out on August 15, 1940, and later went to Warmwell with 152 Sqdn. He shot down one 109 and shared a 110 and damaged another 110. He crash landed in Spitfire P9427 out of fuel near Torquay on Nov. 26th 1940. In a Channel 4 TV Programme, “Spitfire Ace” , televised on 19/1/04, LAC Joe Roddis described how his groundcrew most admired the Polish flyers as they were determined to kill Germans, not just shoot down aircraft; their country was occupied and they hated the enemy with a vengeance. He named Klein as one of the bravest and described how on one very foggy day they were all ordered to be grounded. But Klein heard a German aircraft patrolling over the aerodrome and against orders took off and brought it down in very dangerous flying conditions. He was declared Missing on Nov.28th, believed killed in action in his Spitfire in the Isle of Wight area, by 109’s . His name is inscribed on the Polish Air Force memorial at Northolt. Awarded Polish Cross of Valour (KW) and Bar.

118438/903367/902927 Lennert Axel/Aexel Komaroff

was Sgt. air gunner with 141 Squadron flying Defiants and Beaufighters. With FO I.H. Cosby he shot down a Ju88 south of the Isle of Wight on Aug. 25th 1941. Flying throughout the Battle, he was commissioned in March 1942 . He was killed on Sept. 19th 1944 flying Mosquitoes with 29 Squadron, aged 26 years. He was husband of Helen Komaroff of Prestwick and is buried at Bergen-op-Zoom, Holland in grave 28.A.2 . He is named in Morris’s book (see above) and his AJEX card states that he had previously been wounded in action.

77345/746721 Marcus Kramer

was a Pilot Officer with 600 Squadron. A pharmacist from Thorpe Bay Essex, he was born in Bermondsey in 1911 and active in the local Jewish community , son of Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Kramer of 3, Marine Parade, Southend-on-Sea [25]. He joined the RAFVR in March 1939, and was commissioned in Feb. 1940. On May 10th 1940 he flew as gunner with PO R C Haine with 6 Blenheims on an attack on Rotterdam (Waalhaven) aerodrome, just captured by German paratroops that morning. After the attack they were shot down by 110’s but he evaded capture and was evacuated with his crew by the RN. He was awarded the DFC on 9.7.40 (see JC reference May 15th 1942 page 3, and his AJEX card), but he was killed in action on 21/5/41 with 29 Squadron, aged 29 years. His name is on the Runnymede memorial Panel 29. His AJEX card states that the Jewish Chaplains wrote to the father who replied that “his plane was seen to crash into the River Severn near Chepstow and his tunic was washed up almost immediately” and is therefore believed to be dead. Also that the “Times” reported his death on the 31/12/41.

83269/54454 Emanuel Barnett Lyons

was Pilot Officer/Flt. Lt. with 65 Squadron and born in London in 1918. He joined the RAFVR in June 1939, from Magdalene College Cambridge [26], fighting throughout the Battle. He was later posted to North Africa in support of 1st Army. In 1944 he fought in many air battles in Europe, being wounded in April 1945. He was awarded the DFC on 8.5.45 and the Netherlands Flying Cross on 21.4.47 for gallantry when some of his squadron included Dutch pilots. His AJEX card shows he was the son of Mrs R Lyons, c/o E Barnett and Co., 27-83 Middlesex St., London E1 and 38, South Lodge, Circus Rd, NW8 . There were articles about him in the JC of 10/3/45 and 9/6/47. He died in 1992.

81621 Andrew “Andy” B. Mamedoff

was a Pilot Officer from the USA and with 609 Squadron. An American researcher has confirmed with AJEX that he was Jewish [27] , son of Natalie and husband of Alys nee Craven of London. He was born on 24.8.12, and brought up in Thompson, Connecticut. He performed in air shows and at outbreak of war he tried to fight with the Finnish Air Force and later the French Air Force but failed and had to stowaway to the UK where he was given an Emergency Commission in the RAF and sent to a Spitfire squadron on Aug. 8th 1940 with two other Americans he had met in France. They became the first three members of 71 Eagle Squadron, USA Volunteers, fighting throughout the Battle. On a flight to a posting to Northen Ireland on 8.10.41, he failed to arrive and his body was later recovered for burial at Brookwood cemetery, grave 21.A.7.

39675 William “Bill” [28]Henry Nelson

was Flying Officer with 24 Squadron and born in Montreal, Canada on 2.4.17, son of Henry and Sarafina Nelson of 4885 Cote St, Catherine Rd. He was educated at Baron Byng High and Strathcona Academy and joined the RAF in 1937 after working his way to England. On Sept. 8/9th 1939 he took part as Captain of a bomber in the RAF’s earliest operation, with 8 Whitley’s dropping leaflets in NW Germany. After other operations he also took part in raids on Sylt and over Dunkirk during the evacuation. He was awarded the DFC by the King at Buckingham Palace on 4.6.40, and was the first Canadian Jew decorated in WW2 [29]. His citation read “Nelson carried out many flights over enemy territory, always showing the greatest determination and courage. After one attack on Stavanger, Norway, he encountered a balloon barrage and sent a report to base HQ in time to warn following aircraft”.

He wrote home that “ I thank God that I shall be able to help to destroy the regime that persecutes the Jews…..”

Volunteering for Fighter Command and returning before his leave expired, he flew Spitfires from Hornchurch , shooting down a 109, 110 and damaging another 110 on Aug. 11th 1940 when he took on six 109’s singehanded [30]; damaging a Do 17 on the 13th and destroying three more 109’s on Oct. 17th, 27th and 29th. He was killed on 1.11.40 by a 109 attack over Dover in Spitfire P7312 at 1400 hrs. and crashed into the Channel. He was listed as missing on the 52nd RAF casualty list on Nov 14th but officially presumed killed on May 26th 1941. He was 23 years old, left a wife (Marjorie Isobel) and young son and his name is inscribed on the Runnymede memorial, panel 4. He has an AJEX Chaplain card.

42076 Reginald Tony Pareezer (Air Ministry Roll)

was Pilot Officer with 204 Squadron Coastal Command and killed on 21/7/40 aged 21 years. He was son of Reginald and Florence of Thorpe, Norfolk and is remembered at Runnymede on panel 9. He is named in Morris, but no AJEX Chaplain card was found.

41735 Frederick Hyam/Hyman Posener

was Pilot Officer with 152 Squadron , and joined the RAF from South Africa in Dec. 1938 fighting through the Battle and was wounded in action [31]. He was shot down, aged 23 years, in his Spitfire K9880 at 1635 hrs. on July 20th 1940 off Swanage by Luftwaffe Oberlt. Homuth. His name is inscribed on the Runnymede memorial, Panel 9. RAF Innsworth records show he was Jewish [32] and his death is announced in the JC of 18/4/41. His AJEX card says he was son of J. Posener, POB 504, East London, South Africa.

40138/40404 Roderick Malachi Seaburne Rayner

was Flying Officer/Wing Commander with 87 Squadron. He was born on 6/1/18, joined the RAF in 1937 and was in France on the outbreak of war. During the Battle he shot down a 110, 109, Do 17, another 110 and 109 and shared an He 111 . Over the UK he shot down two other 110’s but on Dec 23rd 1940 had to bale out of his Hurricane in bad weather near Brize Norton. Was awarded a DFC on 11.2.41, though his AJEX card says it was gazetted 30.7.43. He damaged another unidentified German aircraft in the Gloucester area in April 1941. He died in 1982.

39683 Reginald Frank Rimmer

was a FO of 229 Squadron and son of a WW1 pilot. The family were living in Wirral at the time of outbreak of war. He joined the RAF in 1937 and on June 2nd 1940 over Dunkirk damaged a He 111, later destroying a Do17 and sharing an He 111. He was shot down in his Hurricane V6782 “T” at 1530 hrs. and killed by 109’s on Sept. 27th 1940 over Franchise Manor Farm, Burwash aged 21 years and is buried at Hoylake Grange , Cheshire (grave D79) and is remembered on a plaque at the farm where he crashed. He was son of Launcelot and Cecilia of Hoylake. He is named in Morris’s book but there is no AJEX card for him. A photo of his grave shows a cross but this was a common error for many Jewish servicemen killed in both World Wars where incorrect information was supplied about religious affiliation [33].

41209 Geoffrey Louis Ritcher

was a Flying Officer/Squadron Leader with 234 Squadron. He joined the RAF in July 1938, fought throughout the Battle and shot down a Do 17 in France. His AJEX card says he graduated from No 1 Air Observer’s School, North Coates, Grimsby.

41472 Jack Rose

was a Flying Officer/ Wing Commander with No. 3, 32 and 232 Squadrons. He was born in London on 18/1/17, attended Shooters Hill School, University at UCL (studying Science) and joined the RAF in 1938. From Biggin Hill he was sent to France and shot down three enemy aircraft in May 1940. He was shot down in his Hurricane V6547 at 1900 hrs. on August 25th by a 109 over the Channel and rescued . He was awarded the DFC on 9.10.42 and commanded 113 Squadron in Burma from Nov. 1944. He was further awarded the MBE and CGM in 1946. His DFC citation says on his AJEX card “ He has been on operational flying since Sept. 1939. During May 1940 whilst serving with fighters over France, he destroyed three enemy aircraft. Posted to his present unit, he has led squadrons in 15 sweeps over France. He has displayed courage and devotion to duty and rendered valuable assistance to allied wing commanders”.

900030 Maurice Rose

was a Sergeant (Air Ministry Roll) in 102 Squadron RAFVR and was killed in action on 29/10/40. He is in Morris’s book and is remembered at Runnymede on Panel 19. His AJEX card says he was first in Hut 756, B squad, No 2 Wing, No 2 School, Yatesbury, and then at No 7 Bombing and Gunnery School, Porthcawl. His father was J Rose of 46, First Avenue, Selby Park, Birmingham.

84970 Francis Herbert Schumer

was a Pilot Officer with 600 Squadron. He was educated at Giggleswick School and Worcester College, Oxford and a member of the University Air Squadron. He joined the RAFVR in June 1939 as trainee 754291 and Commissioned in Sept. 1940. He crash landed in a Blenheim on Sept. 12th, fought throughout the Battle and was killed in action on 12/7/41 aged 22 years. He was cremated at Golders Green cemetery. His AJEX card gives his mother as Mrs J Schumer, 107, Hodford Rd., NW11 and his death was notified to the JC on July 18th , 1941.

37870 Lionel Harold Schwind

was Pilot Officer with 257, 43 and 213 Squadrons. He joined the RAF in 1936, was then posted to Iraq but was flying Hurricanes throughout the Battle of Britain. He was shot down and killed over Gatwick on 27/9/40 in Hurricane N2401 “O” at 0925 hrs. crashing on Wildemesse golf course, Seal, near Sevenoaks, aged 27 years – the same day as Rimmer. He was son of Lionel and Florence nee Dayton of Crowborough, Sussex and husband of Georgina nee Trueman. He is buried at Crowborough cemetery, Sussex, grave 1723. His brother 581353 Sgt. Gordon Louis Schwind RAF, was killed aged 21 on May 26th 1940 and is buried at Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium [34]. No AJEX card was found for Lionel or Gordon, but Gordon’s name was submitted to Henry Morris’s second book, “The Addendum”. [35]

78257 Herbert Ronald Sharman

was Pilot Officer/Squadron Leader with 248 Squadron. Born in Wood Green, London on 22.10.07 he was educated at Trinity County School. He joined the RAFVR in 1939, was commissioned in March 1940 and fought throughout the Battle. He then trained in Canada and returned to the UK in 1943 as an instructor in navigation. With 297 Squadron he flew Whiteley’s inserting agents into occupied Europe, and then flew VIP’s to summit meetings in Casablanca, Tehran and Yalta. From March 1944 he undertook other VIP flights in the Far East and was awarded the AFC on 7.9.45. He has an AJEX Jewish Chaplain card.

85241 Leslie Mark Sharp

was Pilot Officer with 111 Squadron, son of Mr and Mrs M Sharp of 53 Adelaide Park, Belfast. He joined the RAFVR in Aug. 1939 as trainee 758214. Commissioned on Sept. 7th 1940, he flew Hurricanes with 96 and 111 Squadrons. Fighting through the Battle he took off on the night of 28/12/40 and crashed suddenly into the sea one mile offshore. He is buried at Carnmoney Jewish cemetery, Co. Antrim. He has an AJEX card and his photo and announcement of his death are in the JC of 10/1/41 .

563391 William Gerald Silver

was Sgt. Pilot with 152 Squadron and educated at Portsmouth Technical school. He joined the RAF in 1929, flying Spitfires throughout the Battle. On Sept. 25th 1940 he did not return from a dogfight over the Portsmouth area in Spitfire P9463 at 1115 hrs., and is buried at Milton Rd cemetery, Portsmouth, Plot U, Row 23a, Grave 13. He was 27 years old [36].

79731/742006 Neville David Solomon

was Pilot Officer with 29 and 17 Squadrons and joined the RAFVR in Sept. 1938. He was Commissioned in Sept. 1939. Flying Blenheims, he converted to Hurricanes flying both types throughout the Battle. He was reported missing Aug. 18th in Hurricane L1921 at 1.05pm [37]after a dogfight with 109’s off Dover and had crashed into the sea. The incident is described in “The Hardest Day” [38]. He is buried at Pihen-les-Guines, Calais, France, Row A, Grave 4. He was son of Lt Col. Archibald Baron Solomon and Ethel Betsy of 69 Woodbourne Rd., Edgbaston, Birmingham and 3, Livery St., Birmingham. His Jewish Chaplain card states that when reported missing in action, condolences letters were sent to his family on 23/9/40 and again on 10/2/41, and it was reported in “The JC” on 29/9/40 (the same day as Wilk - see below) as well as mentioned in “The Times”. The Jewish Chaplaincy continued correspondence with the father until June 1948. A photo of him is in the JC of 3/5/40, noting his serving in the RAF.

749478 Aubrey H. Spiers

was Sgt. Wireless Op./Air Gunner/W. Officer with 236 Squadron and had joined the RAFVR in May 1939. Heflew 21 sorties throughout the Battle. No further information was found on his AJEX card. He died in 1988.

37306 Robert Roland Stanford Tuck

was known as “Lucky Tuck” [39] and was Flt. Lt/Wing Commander with 92 and 257 Squadrons. He was born in Catford on 1.7.16, son of Capt. Stanley Lewis Tuck (Capt. in Royal West Surreys, in WW1 ) and Ethel Clara , and educated at St Dunstan’s College, Reading. He was at sea for two years as a Cadet and then joined the RAF in 1935. Whilst training at Grantham, he was almost killed in a mid air collision caused by turbulence [40] and he had to bale out severely scarring his face. At Duxford in 1938 he became one of the RAF’s first Spitfire qualified pilots.

As a Flight Commander, over Dunkirk on May 23rd 1940, in his Spitfire, he shot down three 110’s and a 109, on the 24th two Do 17’s, on the 25th shared a Do 17, on June 2nd a 109 and He 111, and two 109’s damaged. He was wounded in this incident. His Squadron Leader at this time was Roger Bushell, of “Great Escape” fame and whom he later met again at Sagan camp after capture. When Bushell was shot down over Dunkirk, Tuck took over as Squadron Leader. Tuck was awarded the DFC on the 11.6.40 from the King at a special ceremony at Hornchurch, for “initiative and personal example over Dunkirk”.

He continued shooting the enemy out of the sky; shared a Do 17 on July 8th, damaged a Ju 88 on the 25th, shared a Ju 88 on Aug. 13th, destroyed two Ju 88’s on the 14th and two on the 18th- but he was shot down that day, baling out with an injury over Horsmonden ( his Spitfire crashing at Tuck’s Cottages, Park Farm) on the estate of Lord Cornwallis – who then invited him to tea!

On Aug 25th he shot down another Do 17 but his plane was shot up and he glided 15 miles to the coast with a dead engine off St Gowan’s Head and crash landed. On Sept. 11th , Commanding 257 Squadron, he shot down a 110 and 109, on the 23rd a 109, Oct. 4th a Ju 88, on the 12th a 109, on the 25th a 109 and two damaged and on the 28th two more 109’s!! He was awarded a Bar to the DFC on 25.10.40 , The Times writing that, “In the face of constant death he preserved a lightness of heart which was not simply bravura but allied to precise and ruthlessly applied technical skill”.

On Dec. 19th , now flying Hurricanes, he shot down another Do 17, on the 12th a 109, on the 29th a Do 17. He was awarded the DSO on 7.1.41 “for leading 257 Squadron with great success….his outstanding leadership, courage and skill have been reflected in its high morale and efficiency”. The King awarded the DSO and announced the 2nd bar to Tuck on 28/1/41 and at the same ceremony awarded the DFC to his good friend Brian van Mentz (see below) – a unique occasion for two Jewish RAF officers to be decorated together [41]!

He continued; March 2nd and 19th 1941 two more Do 17’s, April 9th a Ju 88, 27th damaged a Ju 88, and May 11th shot down two more Ju 88’s. Awarded a Second Bar to DFC on 11.4.41 “for conspicuous gallantry and initiative in searching for and attacking enemy raiders, often in adverse weather conditions” – he was only the second RAF pilot to win such a distinction.

On June 21st he destroyed two 109’s and damaged another but was himself wounded and shot down in the Channel but picked up in his dinghy by a Gravesend coal barge after two hours. As Wing Leader at Duxford commanding three squadrons, he shot down three more 109’s. He was then sent as a Liaison Officer to the USA with other aces, including “Sailor” Malan, and then returned to Biggin Hill as a Wing Leader. On Jan. 28th 1942 he was shot down by flak on low level strafing attack outside Boulogne and made a POW. He was interviewed by Adolf Galland and after the war – ironically for a Jewish pilot – made an Honorary member of Galland’s old German Squadron [42]!

In various camps, he helped plan the “Great Escape” from Sagan but was moved before the breakout [43]. He finally escaped on Feb. 1st 1945 with Flt. Lt. Kustrzynski and met up with the Russians and spent two weeks fighting with them. They then made their way to the British Embassy in Moscow and were sent to Southampton by ship via Odessa. Tuck was awarded the USA DFC on 14.6.46.

Tuck was shot down 4 times, collided twice, was wounded twice, baled out, crash landed and dunked in the Channel [44]! The Official History of the RAF Vol. 1, states “They had that restless spirit of aggression, that passion to be at grips with the enemy, which is the hallmark of the very finest troops. Some – like Bader, Malan and Stanford Tuck – were so fiercely possessed of this demon, and of the skill to survive the danger into which it drew them, that their names were quickly added to the immortal company of Ball, Bishop, Mannock and McCudden” [45] .

Tuck is probably the most highly decorated Jewish WW2 pilot after Louis Aarons, VC, DFM. He is credited with 30 kills - one not added till 1982 [46] making him the eighth ranking ace of the RAF with more victories than any other British pilot [47]. His portrait hangs at Bentley Priory RAF base at Stanmore – Fighter Command HQ in WW2 - alongside many other Battle of Britain pilots. He died aged 70 years on 5.5.87. His Jewish Chaplain card mentions an article on him in the JC in Jan. 1941. He was also a great friend of Jewish Fighter Pilot Ronnie Austin Jarvis (killed in 1941) and their visit to the home, for example, of the Jewish Barnato family is well documented [48].

70826 Brian van Mentz

was Flying Officer with 222 Squadron. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1916, son of Sidney and Rosine and nephew of Samuel Mence of Burghclere, Hants. He was Commissioned in the South African RAF Reserve in 1937 and the RAF in 1938. In France he shot down a Ju 88 on May 14th 1940, Ju 87 and He 126 on the 15th, damaged two 109’s on the 16th. From Hornchurch he shot down a 109 on 31st Aug., a 110 and damaged another on Sept. 3rd, a 109 and shared a Do 17 on Sept. 7th, a Ju 88 and damaged a 109 on the 11th, damaged a Ju 88 on the 15th, shot down a 109 on the 23rd, and damaged a 110 on Oct 12th. He was awarded the DFC on 25.10.40. The JC report says in November , “This officer led his section with great skill and courage, and showed great determination in pressing home his attacks against large enemy formations. He has been engaged in flying operations against the enemy since the outbreak of war” . It was also reported in the JC on 17/1/41.

On Oct. 30th he damaged a 109 and on Nov 30th shot down a Do 17. He was decorated by the King at Bircham Newton on 28.1.41, together with Tuck (see above). On Feb. 2nd he shot down a Ju 88 , damaged an He 111 and on March 18th shared a Do 17.

Having flown 75 sorties [49], he was killed on April 26th 1941 aged 24 years when a bomb hit the Ferry Inn pub, Coltishall, not half an hour after Robert Tuck had left him to go to Norwich for a drive [50] . He is buried at Brookwood cemetery, Woking, Grave 25.A.9 [51]. The JC of 17/1/41 says he was the son of Major van Mentz, adjudant of the Witwatersrand Rifles, killed in action in WW1.

115547/754595 Jack Weber/Webber

was Sgt. Pilot/Flt. Lt. with No. 1 and 145 Squadrons and joined the RAFVR in July 1939. Fighting from Tangmere throughout the Battle, he was shot down in his Hurricane by an ME 109 in the afternoon - but survived - over the Isle of Wight on Nov 6th 1940. Commissioned in 1942 he was Mentioned in Despatches whilst fighting in the Middle East. Whilst protecting Kittyhawk bombers on July 15th he was shot down and again wounded. He died in 1988. His Jewish Chaplain card states that his father was Mr J Weber of 521 Finchley Rd., NW3 and that he was seen by several Chaplains.

76932/78451 Jack Wilk (Air Ministry Roll)

was a Pilot Officer/Air Gunner with 149 Squadron RAFVR, Bomber Command . His name is in Morris and his AJEX card says he was born in 1904 in South Africa and volunteered for the RAF on 30/12/39. He was at No 1 Air Armament School, Manby, Lincolnshire and then No. 11 O.T.U. at Bassingbourn. He was Killed in Action on 17/8/40 aged 36 years son of Abraham and Fairie Wilk nee Mindelsohn and was a Barrister (MA, Ll.B), living at 73, Westfield Road, Birmingham. His death was announced in the Jewish Chronicle on 27/9/40 and an obituary with photograph says he was a Cambridge graduate who had served in the Civil Air Guard pre war and was very active in the Birmingham Jewish Community. A second obituary appeared on 4/10/40. He is buried at Durnbach, Germany, grave 6-H-6.

755989 Israel Winberg

was a Sergeant with 110 Squadron Bomber Command RAFVR (Air Ministry Roll) and is listed by Morris. His AJEX card says he volunteered 5/11/39 and was at Training School 32 in West Hartlepool, followed by Prestwick, Bicester and Wattisham. He was son of Morris and Anna Winburn aka Winberg of 11 The Oakes West, Sunderland and he was killed in action 24/7/40 aged 28 years and his name is inscribed at Runnymede, panel 21. It was reported in “The Times” 26/3/41 and the Jewish Chronicle on 13/8/40 and 4/4/41.

749523 Ian Alexander Zamek

was a Sergeant with 58 Squadron RAFVR Bomber Command (Air Ministry Roll). He is named in Morris and his AJEX card says he volunteered in April 1939 and was at London No.2 Centre and later at Abingdon.

He was son of Mr A Zamek, 16, Pendennis, Derby Rd., Bournemouth. He was reported as missing, killed in action by the RAF, 2/10/40 but deemed officially kia on 3/10/40 aged 22 years. This was notified to the Jewish Chronicle on 18/10/40 and again on 28/2/41. He is buried in Berlin CWGC cemetery, grave 7-K-1to4. His brother Norman Henry was also kia in the RAF in 1942 (see note 31).

Probables

As well as the above men, Wynn’s book reveals others who have Jewish names, but whose records show them as enlisted as other denominations. This is especially true of Polish and Czech pilots – for reasons given in the introduction to this article. As I cannot prove religious affiliation, I give below only brief details which the reader may follow up on some of the “probably Jewish” pilots of the Battle.

76568 Pilot Officer Jack Henry Bachman – 145 Squdn. kia 9/4/43 in Burma

81884 Pilot Officer/Sqdn. Ldr. Vaclav Bergman – 310 Squdn; Czech; DFC, MiD.

111486 Pilot Officer Derrick C Deuntzer - 79/247 Squdns.

P1296 Pilot Officer Franciszek Jastrzebski – 302 Squdn; Polish; KIA, VM, KW with 3 bars, Cr de G.

745292 Sgt. Pilot Stephen Austin Levenson – British , 611 Squdn.;KIA

76728 Flt. Lt. Jan Piotr Pfeiffer – Polish, 32/257 Squdns. – KIA

78256 Pilot Officer Edward C. Schollar – 248 Squdn.

84299 Flg. Officer David Stein - British 263 Squdn. – KIA

There are many others.

Furthermore, in Henry Morris’s book [52] four Polish Jewish pilots are listed as having fought in the Battle but are not in Wynn’s book –

Navig. Ryzrad Bychowski – killed when plane crashed on landing.

Navig. Zygmunt Glass – kia over Holland 1943

Navig. Rubin Lipszyc – kia on last day of the war when in action over Holland

Navig. Eljasz Posner – kia over the Channel 1942.

Conclusion

This study is a tribute to the Jewish pilots and aircrew who served and those who died during the Battle of Britain, a momentous struggle that has become almost mythical in its re-telling in many books and films. For those historians with the drive, patience and determination, similar stories can be told of the Jewish contribution for all the epic battles of World War Two – on land, sea and in the air. Let it never be forgotten.

Summary of WW2 Awards to Jewish Battle of Britain Aircrew

DSO – 1

DFC - 12

DFC and Bar – 2 (2)

DFC and Two Bars – 1 (2)

DFM - 1

AFC – 2

AFM – 1

Czech MC - 1

Netherlands DFC – 1

Polish KW and Bar – 2

USA DFC – 1

MBE – 1

CGM – 1

MiD - 2

Acknowledgements

AJEX Jewish Military Museum, London

Staff of the Imperial War Museum Library, Lambeth

Staff of the Tower Hamlets History Library, Stepney

Staff at RAF Innsworth, Gloucester.


Sources: Martin Sugerman, Reprinted with Permission. Martin Sugarman is an Archivist with the British Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women - AJEX - Jewish Military Museum, London

[1] Kenneth G Wynn, Men of

the Battle of Britain (London 1999) pp.i-x

[2] In a Jewish Chronicle article (22/11/96) researcher and founder of the Battle of Britain Society, Bill Bond, alleges 100 Jewish airmen fought in the Battle and some of those are buried at Hoop Lane Jewish cemetery in Golders Green.

[3] See footnotes below

[4] RAF Personnel Records in Gloucester

[5] “We Will Remember Them” Brassey’s 1989, London and “The Addendum” AJEX, 1994, London.

[6] These profiles are taken mainly from Wynn, with further information added where indicated

[7] See website on Bamberger, “RAF Aces”

[8] “Men of the Battleof Britain” Supplementary Vol., KG Wynn, Gliddon Books 1992, page 62

[9] AJEX Battle of Britain file, AJEX Museum.

[10] See Sources section above.

[11] “The Few” by P Kaplan and R Collier, Blandford, London, 1989 page 222.

[12] “RAF Personnel in the Battle of Britain”, MoD, Imperial War Museum, no date. In “The Battle of Britain” (R T Bickers, London, 1990) the RAF WW2 author, in this official 50th Anniversary book, decsribes Goodman as Palestinian on page 197; ditto in the Jubilee Anniversary book “Battle of Britain “ by Hough and Richards page 191.

[13] At time of writing in Feb. 2004, the Battle of Britain Society is debating whether or not to include Israel/Palestine on its list of participating nations on a planned Battle memorial to be erected in London - trying to argue that Goodman was British! But, this is a double standard as Britons born in Rhodesia (as was) will be counted as Rhodesians!

[14] “The Battle of Britain Then and Now”, W G Ramsay, London 1980, After the Battle Magazines, p 366 – this was the same day that Solomon (see below) was killed.

[15] The Israel Air Force (IAF) Bulletin of 1997 decribes Goodman as “our first Ace, born in Israel” (thanks to Moshe Dolev, IAF researcher, of Tel Mond, Israel, for this article sent to the author in 2003)

[16] As above page 75

[17] There is an eye witness anecdote from Holden in “Scramble” N. Gelb, M Joseph 1986, p.165

[18] Jacobs wrote an unpublished autobiography about his life, “Jacobs Ladder”, mentioned in R Collier’s “Eagle Day”, Dutton Books, New York, , 1966, page 306 bibliography – unobtainable by the author.

[19] “Battle of Britain Then and Now” page 380

[20] No AJEX card was found for Jacobson but it is known that they are not 100% complete or accurate.

[21] No AJEX card found, as above.

[22] As above page 108

[23] “Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armed Forces in WW2”, Benjamin Meirtchak, Vol. 2 page 118, Tel-Aviv 1995

[24] “Polish Wings in the West”, by B. Arct, Warsaw 1971 p. 88, spells his name anagramatically as “Kinel”, almost certainly to deliberately to disguise his Jewish sounding name; a typical act of anti-Semitism.

[25] Jewish Chronicle 12/7/40 front page

[26] AJEX Jewish Chaplain card

[27] See USA file at AJEX Museum

[28] “The Splendid Hundred” A Bishop, McGraw-Hill, Toronto 1994 p.154

[29] “Canadian Jews in WW2 – part 1”, Canadian Jewish Congress 1947, Montreal, page 29.

[30] “Among the Few – Canadian Airmen in the Battle of Britain” Air Historical Section, Air Ministry booklet 1948 page 22.

[31] AJEX card information

[32] Posener is also mentioned in the Roll of Honour of “South African Jews in WW2” page xii, South African Board of Deputies, Johannesburg, 1950.

[33] Files at the AJEX Museum testify to several other examples of this.

[34] They are one of 18 sets of Jewish brothers killed in WW2; I am grateful to Harold Pollins for providing this information in “Shemot” September 2001, Journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain .

[35] See “The Battle of Britain Then and Now” edited by W G Ramsay 1989, After the Battle Books, London, page 755 for a photograph of a special memorial to him at the crash site.

[36] No AJEX card as above and his religious affiliation is to be confirmed

[37] “Battle of Britain Then and Now” p 366

[38] “The Hardest Day” A Price, London, page 92

[39] From an interview by Bob Cunningham with Tuck in 1986 published in “Code One”, the journal of the General Dynamics Company, Fort Worth, USA.

[40] A book has been written about Tuck – “Fly for your Life” by Larry Forrester, London 1956/1990, describing Tuck’s life and exploits in great detail – see pages 24-26.

[41] Forrester page 234

[42] See Cunningham

[43] See Forrester dust cover summary

[44] See Forrester p. 14

[45] Quoted in Forrester, frontpiece.

[46] See Cunningham

[47] See Forrester p. 14

[48] “Spreading My Wings”, Diana Barnato-Walker, London 1994, p.139

[49] “Go Straight Ahead – Diaries of the 222 Natal Squadron”, E Burton, Square One, London, 1996, Appendix 3 ; this book contains more detail on van Mentz pages 169-173.

[50] See Forrester p.254-5

[51] Van Mentz is also mentioned as von Mentz, in the Roll of Honour, “South African Jews in WW2” page xiii and page 177, South African Board of Deputies, Johannesburg 1950.

[52] “We Will Remember Them – an Addendum” AJEX, London 1994 page 52.

 

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